By Ashley Robinson, Employer and Alumni Relations

Student talking with an employer.

So, Summer 2020 looks a little different than you planned.

That internship you were looking forward to was cancelled and the only thing the news seems to agree on is that the economic future is uncertain. When you peruse online job boards, you’re seeing fewer opportunities posted and efforts to secure something in time for summer is feeling more and more fruitless.

Well, consider me your magic looking glass into the world of work.

Recently, I had the chance to learn from companies like Roku, Groupon, Quora, and Redfin, whose internship programs were cancelled.

Read on for their thoughts on everything from why virtual wasn’t an option to how you can highlight your hard won acceptance onto a program on your resume to what you can do this summer to demonstrate and expand upon your skills.

Why COmpanies DIdn’t CHoose the Virtual Option

While it seems like everything is virtual this summer and it should be an easy thing to shift, not all companies decided to continue their internship programs in a virtual format.

FINANCIAL CONCERNS

Groupon explained that since their main business function was as a service to the local marketplace, COVID-19 had directly impacted their business. As restaurants, salons, and museums close, so too does Groupon’s ability to support these businesses and continue to grow revenue. Unfortunately, financial realities meant that it wasn’t possible for them to continue with their internship program.

Redfin also explained that they needed to look after the health of the business and find creative ways to prioritize the current workforce.

Employer representative speaking with a student.

QUALITY OF INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE

Roku and Quora’s internship programs are so hands-on that it was impossible to imagine how they might function virtually.

But there’s still hope!

Quora was able to move their design internship to the Fall and provided a $5000 stipend to students who were offered an internship that was cancelled “for their trouble.” 

PRIOTIZING CURRENT WORKFORCE

Many companies will be on-boarding full-time hires virtually and will focus efforts on fulfilling commitments to those new hires. This is a great opportunity to learn about a companies culture, from the way its treating and taking care of its current workforce. 

Students in line looking at their resumes.

Can I put the cancelled internship on my resume?

Absolutely! Just, make sure to state that the internship was cancelled because of COVID-19.

Recruiters agree that you worked hard and went through a rigorous process to get accepted onto a competitive program. You earned a place and you deserve to show that on your resume.

NO INTERNSHIP? NO PROBLEM!

Lauren Berger from Roku also explained that “if students chose not to intern this summer, recruiters will not hold it against them.”

As people all over the world band together to battle this pandemic, recruiters will also “lead with empathy,” understanding that Summer 2020 has unique challenges.

So, what Now?

Employers are just as bummed as you are not to get to know you better through their internship programs this summer.

Students talking with an employer at a CCE Career Fair.

MAKE LEMONADE (FIGURATIVELY OR LITERALLY)

Though the future seems uncertain, employers agreed that an excellent way to make the most of your summer is to dive into your passions.

Volunteering in the community, getting a jumpstart on your startup, or designing an app or website for a small business are just some of the ways to build your skills while showing adaptability, initiative, and community involvement.

And don’t forget to put it on your resume!

We’re here to help!

Keep in mind that as you navigate this changing lanscape of the world of work, CCE is here to help.

Browse our COVID Updates for more information and answers to student FAQs or book an appointment with a career counselor for support.